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Discussion Starter #1
I'm working on helping my mom buy a decent tenor sax for my dad--who is mainly looking to play for fun--but she's on a tight budget. My dad has played sax for a long time, but never owned his own tenor horn. I know that it would be best for him to choose his own horn, but my mom really wants this to be a surprise for him for their anniversary.

Right now, I've got lines on two vintage tenors and one more modern one:

(1) Statler - I'm told it was purchased in Germany in the 1940s by a professional musician. I've never heard of "Statler" but the current owner is telling me that it is comparable to a Selmer Mark VI.

(2) Pan American - the current owner tells me this is a Conn off-shoot and that this horn dates from the 1920s or -30s. The serial number he gave me is 41206, but I don't know whether this corresponds to the usual Conn serial number charts I've seen.

(3) Conn 16M - the owner told me the serial number on the horn is N2161xx, which would make it one of the Conn horns made around 1970 in Mexico, right?


I have not yet played any of these horns, but was hoping that some of you, who are more much more knowledgeable than I, would be willing to share your expertise with me. Basically, I would like the horn I choose for my dad to be reasonably in tune with itself, have a nice tone quality, and be better than a crappy modern student-level horn. (My thinking is that my mom's money, which as I said above is limited, would go further buying a vintage horn than buying a brand new student-level horn.)

What do you think? Any advice for me? All opinions are welcome.

For what it's worth, I do have experience playing a vintage horn. My own alto sax is a Conn "naked lady" from 1940. While I admit that the action isn't as smooth as, say, a Selmer Mark VI, the tone is luscious.

Again, I'm just curious to know what YOU think about the three above-mentioned possibilities. Thank you so much in advance for taking the time to share your thoughts and experiences with me.

All best regards,
Noah
 

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Noah, please post the prices on the horns you quote as well as what your mom's top price would be. It would help narrow down the suggestion.
 

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personally, i think the pan am. would be a great horn to play for fun, but the intonation could be a bit of a wrestle.

prices and budget would help
 

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The current playing condition is very important to sorting things out. How do they play and what work are they claimed to need?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Greetings all. Thanks so much for reading my post. In response to the questions asked in reply...

My mom's budget is $500.

I'm told all are playable.

(1) Statler - $500
(2) Pan American - $250 (seller says there is almost no lacquer left on the horn)
(3) Conn 16M - $600
 

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panamerican!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


thats a real steal for a playable horn, then you could spend a bit on a good mouthpiece and a good setting up and servicing

the lack of lacwuyer really doesn't matter, it just goes to show that it has been played, which is a good sign, horns that haven;t been played tend to have problems like intonation etc.
 

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Nothing wrong with a Pan American in playing condition, its a poor mans vintage conn. If you are certain that it is in playing shape it would be your best choice.
 
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